How to Track Product Costs


You may have noticed lately that I’ve been posting a lot of book reviews, as well as some other product reviews.  First off, sorry, not sorry for the book reviews- I love to read, and love free books even more.  On the other stuff (some of which is coming), they’re things I look at purchasing, but have a (slight) fear of change.  Face products?  I need to use them- but don’t want to spend a ton of money trying out all kinds of different things.  Enter the product review.  For these things, I want to use the product for at least two weeks, sometimes longer depending on how often you’re supposed to use it.

Anyway, that’s out of the way.  Scott and I met when we were both working at H&R Block. Obviously we are both very conscious of anything we (I) get that could be taxable, or a write off, at the end of the year.  Nowadays, I just give my tax information to him and he sends everything down to a CPA to deal with.  Eventually that could include the free books and other products.

Below is the spreadsheet that I have created.  It breaks down what I receive by month, the list/cover price of the item, and the sale/ Amazon price.  I keep a running tally of both over to the side.  I created it on Google Sheets, which is very similar to Excel, and it saves it to my Google Drive account to access anywhere.  Plus it saves automatically.

I don’t really have an issue showing ya’ll the price of things I get for the blog- in all reality, if you wanted, you could find this out on your own, so why not throw it out there?  The color coding is so I can quickly see where I got the product from (which is also what the initials in the parenthesis show).

Why keep track of the list price vs. the Amazon price?  Amazon is my “Fair Market Value” measurement source. If you’re anything like me, you don’t pay full price for anything- since Amazon is… Amazon it’s pretty good indicator for market price.  I’m not going to tell you that you have to use one over the other for tax purposes, or that one is better than the other- that depends on your individual situation.  I’m telling you to record it, and hand it off to someone who knows what they’re doing- the more information readily available the better!

Theoretically, if/when I start offering sponsors and posts, I would make a new spreadsheet/tab for that.  Then, I would have a third combining all of the information, and a “monthly earnings” and “YTD” line for Google Adsense and Amazon Affiliate revenue.

What are your record-keeping tips and tricks?

Linking with  Beautiful Things, Home of Malones, Kristin’s kNook

0 thoughts on “How to Track Product Costs

  1. I honestly can't even get over how you are with excel/ google sheets!! I created a blog tracker that has everything laid out for me…granted gary helped with the formulas!!! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston

  2. Hahah I use Excel every day for work, so that helps I think. I can't believe how much of a fan of formulas I am, once I understand how they work and am able to manipulate!

  3. This is basically income- stuff that's given to me to review. I really need to come up with another one to cover expenses… once I start putting more money into it!

  4. Advise from your extended family tax accountant (:-p). If you receive an item free for review, the FMV of that item is considered income. If you receive consumable item for testing (i.e. deodorant) you are going to turn around and write off that same about as cost of goods sold (i.e. "testing" expense). If you received a non-consumable item (i.e. an iPad), the cost of goods sold expense obviously doesn't apply. Make sense?

  5. Wooo! Makes perfect sense, thanks!

    And also, on a complete other topic- I'm pretty positive I "like" every picture of your daughter and Oliver I see. And then proceed to show the husband!

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